US 7359865 B1 Abstract A computer-implemented method for generating a risk assessment regarding a software implementation project includes accessing a previously specified importance value and maximum score for each of a multiple of risk factors. The importance value for each risk factor reflects experience of an implementing entity regarding the extent to which the factor may negatively impact a software implementation project if the factor is not adequately addressed, the importance value and maximum score for each factor being multiplied to define a potential weighted score for the factor. An actual score for a particular software implementation project is received for each factor based on an analysis specific to the particular project. An actual weighted score for the particular project is generated for each factor by multiplying the importance value and actual score for the factor, and a relationship between the potential weighted score and actual weighted score for each factor. A risk level for the particular project is assigned to each factor according to the relationship between the potential weighted score and the actual weighted score for the factor. The risk level for each factor represents an assessment regarding the extent to which the factor may negatively impact the particular project if the factor is not adequately addressed. A risk assessment is generated for the particular project including one or more of the assigned risk levels for the particular project for one or more corresponding factors.
Claims(26) 1. A computer-implemented system for generating a risk assessment regarding a software implementation project, the system comprising one or more computer systems each comprising one or more processing units programmed with one or more software components to:
access a previously specified importance value and maximum score for each of a plurality of risk factors, the importance value for each risk factor reflecting experience of an implementing entity regarding the extent to which the risk factor may negatively impact a software implementation project if the risk factor is not adequately addressed, the importance value and maximum score for each risk factor being multiplied to define a potential weighted score for the risk factor;
receive an actual score for a particular software implementation project for each risk factor based on an analysis by the implementing entity specific to the particular software implementation project;
generate an actual weighted score for the particular software implementation project for each risk factor by multiplying the importance value and actual score for the risk factor;
determine a relationship between the potential weighted score and the actual weighted score for each risk factor;
assign a risk level for the particular software implementation project to each risk factor according to the relationship between the potential weighted score and the actual weighted score for the risk factor, the risk level for each risk factor representing an assessment by the implementing entity regarding the extent to which the risk factor may negatively impact the particular software implementation project if the risk factor is not adequately addressed;
generate a risk assessment for the particular software implementation project comprising one or more of the assigned risk levels for the particular software implementation project for one or more corresponding risk factors, wherein each risk factor is associated with one of a plurality of risk factor categories, each risk factor category comprising one or more risk factors; and
generate a risk factor category scorecard for display, the risk factor category scorecard providing at least one of a plurality of risk factor categories and data associated with each of the plurality of risk factor categories, the data selected from the group consisting of a category actual score, a category maximum score, and a category percentage risk,
wherein the category percentage risk is determined by:
determining a quotient of the category actual score and the category maximum score, the category actual score reflecting the sum of the actual scores of all risk factors within a risk factor category, the category maximum score reflecting the sum of the maximum scores of all risk factors within a risk factor category;
determining the quotient by dividing the category actual score by the category maximum score; and
determining the category percentage risk by multiplying the quotient by one hundred.
2. The system of
3. The system of
the maximum score is the same for each risk factor; and
the importance value and maximum score for a risk factor remain constant across multiple software implementation projects.
4. The system of
5. The system of
6. The system of
7. The system of
8. The system of
9. A computer-implemented method for generating a risk assessment regarding a software implementation project, the method comprising:
accessing a previously specified importance value and maximum score for each of a plurality of risk factors, the importance value for each risk factor reflecting experience of an implementing entity regarding the extent to which the risk factor may negatively impact a software implementation project if the risk factor is not adequately addressed, the importance value and maximum score for each risk factor being multiplied to define a potential weighted score for the risk factor;
receiving an actual score for a particular software implementation project for each risk factor based on an analysis by the implementing entity specific to the particular software implementation project;
generating an actual weighted score for the particular software implementation project for each risk factor by multiplying the importance value and actual score for the risk factor;
determining a relationship between the potential weighted score and the actual weighted score for each risk factor;
assigning a risk level for the particular software implementation project to each risk factor according to the relationship between the potential weighted score and the actual weighted score for the risk factor, the risk level for each risk factor representing an assessment by the implementing entity regarding the extent to which the risk factor may negatively impact the particular software implementation project if the risk factor is not adequately addressed;
generating a risk assessment for the particular software implementation project comprising one or more of the assigned risk levels for the particular software implementation project for one or more corresponding risk factors, wherein each risk factor is associated with one of a plurality of risk factor categories, each risk factor category comprising one or more risk factors; and
generating a risk factor category scorecard for display, the risk factor category scorecard providing at least one of a plurality of risk factor categories and data associated with each of the plurality of risk factor categories, the data selected from the group consisting of a category actual score, a category maximum score, and a category percentage risk,
wherein the category percentage risk is determined by:
determining a quotient of the category actual score and the category maximum score, the category actual score reflecting the sum of the actual scores of all risk factors within a risk factor category, the category maximum score reflecting the sum of the maximum scores of all risk factors within a risk factor category;
determining the quotient by dividing the category actual score by the category maximum score; and
determining the category percentage risk by multiplying the quotient by one hundred.
10. The method of
11. The method of
the maximum score is the same for each risk factor; and the importance value and maximum score for a risk factor remain constant across multiple software implementation projects.
12. The method of
13. The method of
14. The method of
15. The method of
16. The method of
17. Software for generating a risk assessment regarding a software implementation project, the software being embodied in computer-readable media and when executed operable to:
access a previously specified importance value and maximum score for each of a plurality of risk factors, the importance value for each risk factor reflecting experience of an implementing entity regarding the extent to which the risk factor may negatively impact a software implementation project if the risk factor is not adequately addressed, the importance value and maximum score for each risk factor being multiplied to define a potential weighted score for the risk factor;
receive an actual score for a particular software implementation project for each risk factor based on an analysis by the implementing entity specific to the particular software implementation project;
generate an actual weighted score for the particular software implementation project for each risk factor by multiplying the importance value and actual score for the risk factor;
determine a relationship between the potential weighted score and the actual weighted score for each risk factor;
assign a risk level for the particular software implementation project to each risk factor according to the relationship between the potential weighted score and the actual weighted score for the risk factor, the risk level for each risk factor representing an assessment by the implementing entity regarding the extent to which the risk factor may negatively impact the particular software implementation project if the risk factor is not adequately addressed;
generate a risk assessment for the particular software implementation project comprising one or more of the assigned risk levels for the particular software implementation project for one or more corresponding risk factors, wherein each risk factor is associated with one of a plurality of risk factor categories, each risk factor category comprising one or more risk factors; and
generate a risk factor category scorecard for display, the risk factor category scorecard providing at least one of a plurality of risk factor categories and data associated with each of the plurality of risk factor categories, the data selected from the group consisting of a category actual score, a category maximum score, and a category percentage risk,
wherein the category percentage risk is determined by:
determining a quotient of the category actual score and the category maximum score, the category actual score reflecting the sum of the actual scores of all risk factors within a risk factor category, the category maximum score reflecting the sum of the maximum scores of all risk factors within a risk factor category;
determining the quotient by dividing the category actual score by the category maximum score; and
determining the category percentage risk by multiplying the quotient by one hundred.
18. The software of
19. The software of
the maximum score is the same for each risk factor; and
the importance value and maximum score for a risk factor remain constant across multiple software implementation projects.
20. The software of
21. The software of
22. The software of
23. The software of
24. The software of
25. A system for generating a risk assessment regarding a software implementation project, the system comprising:
means for accessing a previously specified importance value and maximum score for each of a plurality of risk factors, the importance value for each risk factor reflecting experience of an implementing entity regarding the extent to which the risk factor may negatively impact a software implementation project if the risk factor is not adequately addressed, the importance value and maximum score for each risk factor being multiplied to define a potential weighted score for the risk factor;
means for receiving an actual score for a particular software implementation project for each risk factor based on an analysis by the implementing entity specific to the particular software implementation project;
means for generating an actual weighted score for the particular software implementation project for each risk factor by multiplying the importance value and actual score for the risk factor;
means for determining a relationship between the potential weighted score and the actual weighted score for each risk factor;
means for assigning a risk level for the particular software implementation project to each risk factor according to the relationship between the potential weighted score and the actual weighted score for the risk factor, the risk level for each risk factor representing an assessment by the implementing entity regarding the extent to which the risk factor may negatively impact the particular software implementation project if the risk factor is not adequately addressed;
means for generating a risk assessment for the particular software implementation project comprising one or more of the assigned risk levels for the particular software implementation project for one or more corresponding risk factors, wherein each risk factor is associated with one of a plurality of risk factor categories, each risk factor category comprising one or more risk factors; and
means for generating a risk factor category scorecard for display, the risk factor category scorecard providing at least one of a plurality of risk factor categories and data associated with each of the plurality of risk factor categories, the data selected from the group consisting of a category actual score, a category maximum score, and a category percentage risk,
determining the quotient by dividing the category actual score by the category maximum score; and
determining the category percentage risk by multiplying the quotient by one hundred.
26. A system for generating a risk assessment regarding a software implementation project, comprising:
means for accessing a previously specified importance value and maximum score for each of a plurality of risk factors, the importance value for each risk factor reflecting experience of an implementing entity regarding the extent to which the risk factor may negatively impact a software implementation project if the risk factor is not adequately addressed, the importance value being the same for a risk factor across all software implementations, the maximum score being the same for each risk factor across all software implementation projects, the importance value and maximum score for each risk factor being multiplied to define a potential weighted score for the risk factor, each risk factor being associated with one of a plurality of risk factor categories each comprising one or more risk factors;
means for receiving an actual score for a particular software implementation project for each risk factor based on an analysis by the implementing entity specific to the particular software implementation project, the analysis for each risk factor comprising an evaluation of client resources and capabilities relevant to the risk factor;
means for generating an actual weighted score for the particular software implementation project for each risk factor by multiplying the importance value and actual score for the risk factor;
means for determining a relationship between the potential weighted score and the actual weighted score for each risk factor;
means for assigning a risk level for the particular software implementation project to each risk factor according to the relationship between the potential weighted score and the actual weighted score for the risk factor, the risk level for each risk factor representing an assessment by the implementing entity regarding the extent to which the risk factor may negatively impact the particular software implementation project if the risk factor is not adequately addressed; and
means for generating a risk factor category scorecard for display, the risk factor category scorecard providing at least one of a plurality of risk factor categories and data associated with each of the plurality of risk factor categories, the data selected from the group consisting of a category actual score, a category maximum score, and a category percentage risk,
wherein the category percentage risk is determined by:
means for determining a quotient of the category actual score and the category maximum score, the category actual score reflecting the sum of the actual scores of all risk factors within a risk factor category, the category maximum score reflecting the sum of the maximum scores of all risk factors within a risk factor category;
means for determining the quotient by dividing the category actual score by the category maximum score; and
means for determining the category percentage risk by multiplying the quotient by one hundred.
Description This invention relates generally to software implementation projects and more particularly to generating a risk assessment regarding a software implementation project. Numerous independent studies have shown that software implementation projects are often extremely complex and regularly fail to deliver the value promised. The success of a software implementation project may be measured by factors such as timely completion and actual implementation of features and functionality promised. When software implementation projects are completed late, over budget, or with fewer features and functions than planned, they are subject to challenge by a client. In the worst cases of failure, the software implementation project may be cancelled or the software may go unused. Poor implementations lead to poor customer referenceability and, therefore, hurt sales. Additionally, setting improper expectations for a software implementation project makes it less likely that the implemented software will actually fulfill the customer's needs. These pitfalls may have a significant impact on the bottom line performance of a software company. According to the present invention, disadvantages and problems associated with previous techniques for managing software implementation projects may be reduced or eliminated. In one embodiment of the present invention, a computer-implemented method for generating a risk assessment regarding a software implementation project includes accessing a previously specified importance value and maximum score for each of a number of risk factors. The importance value for each risk factor reflects experience of an implementing entity regarding the extent to which the risk factor may negatively impact a software implementation project if the risk factor is not adequately addressed, the importance value and maximum score for each risk factor being multiplied to define a potential weighted score for the risk factor. An actual score for a particular software implementation project is received for each risk factor based on an analysis by the implementing entity specific to the particular software implementation project. An actual weighted score for the particular software implementation project is generated for each risk factor by multiplying the importance value and actual score for the risk factor, and a relationship between the potential weighted score and actual weighted score is determined for each risk factor. A risk level for the particular software implementation project is assigned to each risk factor according to the relationship between the potential weighted score and the actual weighted score for the risk factor. The risk level for each risk factor represents an assessment regarding the extent to which the risk factor may negatively impact the particular software implementation project if the risk factor is not adequately addressed. A risk assessment is generated for the particular software implementation project including one or more of the assigned risk levels for the particular software implementation project for one or more corresponding risk factors. Particular embodiments of the present invention may provide one or more technical advantages. In certain embodiments, the risk assessment process facilitates consistent comparison of one software implementation project to other software implementation projects and provides a mechanism for measuring improvement across software implementation projects. For example, in certain embodiments of the present invention, actual weighted scores for a particular software implementation project for one or more risk factors, which represent key performance indicators, within one or more risk factor categories may be compared with potential weighted scores, which represent predetermined benchmarks for those risk factors. As a result of the comparison, particular risk factors and risk factor categories critical to the success of the particular software implementation project may be determined, presented to the client or other stakeholders in a formal manner for agreement in the sales or other pre-implementation stage, and closely monitored throughout the implementation process. This may allow potential gaps in preparation for the software implementation project to be proactively identified and then managed accordingly. This may also allow the client and the software implementing entity to focus more clearly on the key potential barriers to a successful implementation and readily identify where any value “leakage” has occurred or may occur, along with potential root causes that could derail the software implementation project. Generating a risk assessment according to certain embodiments of the present invention may provide one or more technical advantages for the implementing entity. For instance, such a risk assessment may reduce the disconnect between sales and implementation teams by creating clear expectations and improving communication between the two teams. Such a risk assessment may help shelter the implementing entity from unwarranted responsibility for an unsuccessful implementation. For example, where the client has been fully informed of key risk factors beforehand and has acknowledged those risk factors and its responsibilities in relation to those risk factors, it may be much more difficult for the client to improperly shift blame to the implementing entity if the client's failure to adequately address one or more of those risk factors is indeed the primary cause of the unsuccessful implementation. Risk mitigation should be a goal of software implementing entities because it often increases customer referenceability, a key to future license sales. Risk assessment according to certain embodiments of the invention may facilitate achievement of this goal, along with the ultimate aim of increasing software implementing success for clients by taking a proactive approach to value delivery. To further advance the goal of bringing quality to the customer, a risk assessment may be generated as part of a larger strategic opportunity assessment associated with the software product. Particular embodiments may provide some, all, or none of these advantages. One or more other technical advantages may be readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the figures, descriptions, and claims included herein. To provide a more complete understanding of the present invention and the features and advantages thereof, reference is made to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which: For example, object class Object class Object class Object class The one or more client systems In operation of system In one embodiment, risk assessment module Risk assessment module Particular embodiments of the present invention may provide one or more technical advantages. In certain embodiments, the risk assessment process facilitates consistent comparison of one software implementation project to other software implementation projects and provides a mechanism for measuring improvement across software implementation projects. For example, in certain embodiments of the present invention, actual weighted scores for a particular software implementation project for one or more risk factors, which represent key performance indicators, within one or more risk factor categories may be compared with potential weighted scores, which represent predetermined benchmarks for those risk factors. As a result of the comparison, particular risk factors and risk factor categories critical to the success of the particular software implementation project may be determined, presented to the client or other stakeholders in a formal manner for agreement in the sales or other pre-implementation stage, and closely monitored throughout the implementation process. This may allow potential gaps in preparation for the software implementation project to be proactively identified and then managed accordingly. This may also allow the client and the software implementing entity to focus more clearly on the key potential barriers to a successful implementation and readily identify where any value “leakage” has occurred or may occur, along with potential root causes that could derail the software implementation project. Generating a risk assessment according to certain embodiments of the present invention may provide one or more technical advantages for the implementing entity. For instance, such a risk assessment may reduce the disconnect between sales and implementation teams by creating clear expectations and improving communication between the two teams. Such a risk assessment may help shelter the implementing entity from unwarranted responsibility for an unsuccessful implementation. For example, where the client has been fully informed of key risk factors beforehand and has acknowledged those risk factors and its responsibilities in relation to those risk factors, it may be much more difficult for the client to improperly shift blame to the implementing entity if the client's failure to adequately address one or more of those risk factors is indeed the primary cause of the unsuccessful implementation. Risk mitigation should be a goal of software implementing entities because it often increases customer referenceability, a key to future license sales. Risk assessment according to certain embodiments of the invention may facilitate achievement of this goal, along with the ultimate aim of increasing software implementing success for clients by taking a proactive approach to value delivery. To further advance the goal of bringing quality to the customer, a risk assessment may be generated as part of a larger strategic opportunity assessment associated with the software product. Risk assessment scorecard A fourth column may include an actual score A seventh column may include a risk level Risk assessment scorecard Executive sponsor commitment risk factor Corporate management of company actions risk factor End user involvement, buy-in, and commitment risk factor The software implementing entity may adjust the risk factors As an illustration of how information within risk assessment scorecard In this example, risk level The linkage of the software implementing entity's compensation risk factor Ability to drive top-down change risk factor Clarity of roles and responsibilities risk factor Commitment to train all parties risk factor Organization design and internal alignment risk factor Corporate culture of rigor and discipline risk factor Executive sponsor support by C×O risk factor Adequate project resources and staffing risk factor Adequate project planning skills risk factor Key employee turnover (historical and current) risk factor Expectations on what the solution will do and not do risk factor Specifications and workflows risk factor Team vision, strategy, and objectives risk factor category Solution maturity risk factor Customization plan understanding and acceptance risk factor Integration challenges risk factor Hardware commitment and availability risk factor Proven budget adherence ability risk factor Well-planned solution review and documentation schedule risk factor Project team and client-wide communication risk factor Proven schedule adherence ability risk factor In one embodiment, at step At step At step At step Although the present invention has been described in several embodiments, diverse changes, substitutions, variations, alterations, and modifications may be suggested to one skilled in the art, and it is intended that the invention may encompass all such changes, substitutions, variations, alterations, and modifications falling within the spirit and scope of the appended claims. 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